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Russia’s intelligence chief: October 1917 revolutionary events no longer split society

Sergey Naryshkin stressed that the authorities were not interfering in the interpretation of historical conclusions and the scientific discussion

MOSCOW, November 3. /TASS/. A change of generations has smoothed over confrontational opinions about the October 1917 events in Russia, Russian Historical Society Director and Federal Foreign Intelligence Service Chief Sergey Naryshkin said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman on Friday.

"For people of our generation, the day of the Great October Socialist Revolution had always been a ‘red-letter day’ while today those who do not already remember this event have grown up. This is a natural process. Generations change along with the memory. The revolution has stopped dividing our citizens and bringing them to confrontation. I see the curing force of time in this," the foreign intelligence chief said.

The head of the Russian Historical Society stressed that the authorities were not interfering in the interpretation of historical conclusions and the scientific discussion.

"For the first time over many decades, the state does not dictate historians their scientific conclusions. On the contrary, the authorities themselves expect these conclusions from historians as only an impartial approach to history helps derive lessons from it," Naryshkin sad.

At the same time, it is extremely important that the pluralism of opinions should not mark the start of the loss of the historical memory, he stressed.

"It is very important for us to ensure that impartiality with regard to memory should not result in its loss. For this purpose, the Russian Historical Society and the History of Fatherland Foundation have provided support over the year for the new formats of historical enlightenment capable of attracting the modern audience," Naryshkin said.

The radical assessments of particular historical events or their participants are counter-indicative for a modern society and instead of unipolar views it is necessary to consider the events of the past century within an integral system, he stressed.

"During various historical periods, we either glorified revolutionary leaders or demonized them. But it is getting obvious with years that the radicalism of history is harmful and, I would rather say, counter-indicative. Our history is the history of all without exception: revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries, emigrants and those who stayed in the Motherland. Each of them had his own truth and, what’s more, this truth changed with years. The organizers of terror could become its victims and revolutionaries could become authorities while authorities could turn into an intra-party opposition. The ability to accept this multifaceted picture of the world is a true sign of the stability of our civil society and the criterion of its moral health," the head of the Russian Historical Society said.